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Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Jahrgang 2014


Titel Essays in Applied Microeconomics
Autor Gerrit Frackenpohl
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract One of the basic assumptions of standard economic theory is that individuals' behavior is solely guided by the quest for the highest possible material outcome. However, there is ample evidence of additional factors influencing individuals' behavior as well. Besides individual-specific factors, also external factors and the corresponding interactions between both kinds of factors have been shown to affect decision making in various contexts (e.g., Andreoni 1989, Hoffman et al. 1994, Liberman et al. 1994, Park 2000, Fehr & Gächter 2002, Falk & Fischbacher 2006, Kube et al. 2012, Falk & Szech 2013). As the selected studies indicate, social preferences like altruism, fairness or reciprocity belong to the major individual-specific factors, while both the design of institutions and the framing of situations constitute prominent external factors.
In three self-contained essays, this thesis aims at empirically exploring potential deviations from the standard economic model that, due to at least one of the factors mentioned above, may arise in three frequently occuring environments. Chapter 1 analyzes a situation which consumers are nowadays quite familiar with. Instead of selling their products independently, an increasing number of companies attach public good components to their standard private goods, thus creating a new product category referred to as hybrid bundles. Prominent examples include green electricity or products that go along with a donation to a social cause. Given that consumers could also replicate such a hybrid bundle by acquiring its components separately, Chapter 1 investigates with the help of laboratory experiments whether and how individuals' valuation of both components is affected by the presentation format.
Chapter 2 deals with job promotions within firms. In contrast to the majority of the existing literature, this chapter takes into account that promotions are usually not viewed as an end in themselves but rather as the start of a new phase of interaction between promoted and non-promoted individuals, which is subject to the new hierarchy. Based on this extended notion of promotions, this chapter evaluates both empirically and theoretically whether employee behavior during and after the tournament is affected by the design of a firm's promotion scheme. To this aim, the two most important promotion schemes of vertical and lateral promotions are compared.
Chapter 3 investigates leadership in social dilemmas. With the help of laboratory experiments it tests whether leadership behavior and leadership effectiveness are affected by the institutional framing. The framing is accomplished by exposing individuals to a social dilemma either in the form of a give-some or a take-some game. The corresponding analyses do not only provide insights with respect to the behavior of leaders but also with respect to the contribution plans of followers, which had been neglected in the literature so far.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 29.08.2014